January 21, 2010

Indians Draw First Blood

Posted in Cricket tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 10:55 pm by techtwist

India won the first test at Mirpur by a comfortable margin of 113 runs, thanks largely to the Ishant Sharma, Zaheer Khan and Amit Mishra who bowled with a lot of fire. At the begining of the final day’s play, India needed another 8 wickets for victory. The Bangladeshis kept losing wickets at regular intervals and it looked like the game would end even before lunch. But the actual resistance started only after the lunch break. It was a lone effort by just one Bangladeshi.

Mushfiqur Rahim played very sensibly and kept one end tight. But the wickets kept falling at the other end and he was running out of partners. He then took the attack to the Indians and played splendidly and scored his maiden test century. It was a phenomenal effort as he looked very solid at the crease. Had another couple of other batsmen got in, anything would have been possible. He was the last man dismissed. This was the fastest century by a Bangladesh batsman in a test match.

For the Indians, Mishra picked up 4 wickets, Ishant picked 3 and Zaheer Khan picked 2. They looked in good shape. Sachin Tendulkar was declared the Man of the match for his splendid century in the first innings. He also praised the efforts of the bowlers and Gautam Gambhir and was happy about Ishant Sharma’s rhythm. He said that he would like to see Ishant bowl well in the coming match also.

Sehwag was repeatedly questioned about Bangladesh’s bowling effort and he said that they still didn’t pick up 20 wickets. When asked about why he declared when they were 8 down in the second innings he replied that he did it to win the game. When asked about Rahim’s effort, he said that he batted well. The reporters tried to catch Sehwag off gaurd by asking him about his personal performance against Bangladesh and his wish to play well against them this time around. They asked him whether he was satisfied with his performance in the game and he said yes immediately. Thats Sehwag for you.

During the course of the game, Laxman injured his hand and has been declared out of the series. There hasn’t been any replacement sent for him. Dhoni and Harbhajan have recovered from their injury and are available for the next test starting on Sunday. Sreesanth also pulled his hamstring today and there has been no news about him as yet. If he’s out, it would probably mean that Harbhajan Singh would replace him and Murali Vijay would replace V.V.S. Laxman. Dhoni would walk in strainghtly to replace Dinesh Karthik and also take over the captaincy.

Picture Courtesy : Cricinfo


December 22, 2008

KP Breaks The Jinx

Posted in Cricket tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 12:01 am by techtwist

All the Indian and English fans would have been happy finally. The long wait is over. Kevin Pietersen finally cracked the secret code of scoring runs in the subcontienent. He has rediscovered his lost touch. It was indeed a heartening sight to see him playing his natural game and dominate the Indian bowlers with his uncanny art of playing out of the when you don’t expect him to.

He came in at a crucial juncture when two of his team men were back in the dressing room with just seven deliveries into the innings. He survived the initial one over spell from Yuvraj Singh who has surprisingly been successful against KP. He played Yuvraj cautiously during his entire innings and his stats were there as a proof. He scored just 3 runs from the 17 deliveries that Yuvraj bowled to him.

KP played his switch shots with tremendous effect agains the Indian spinners. He thoroughly dominated the day and brought up his 15th century in just his 45th test. He finally fell when on 144 in the penultimate over of the day. He clearly was disappointed with the way the game went on in the last 10 minutes for them. He himself has ruled out an English win and said that from here on they’ll try to saveĀ  the test. This isn’t something that you expect from KP. Thats the way that India have outplayed them.

November 11, 2008

The Final Roar Of The Bengal Tiger – A Tribute

Posted in Cricket tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 11:04 pm by techtwist

Irrespective of whether its a young tiger or an old one, when it roars, it does bring shivers down the spine. Similar has been the Prince Of Kolkatta’s career too. He came into the International scene with a bang scoring a century on debut and followed it up with another making it two for the debut series in England. As Sourav admitted, it was indeed amazing to make a mark at the Mecca of Cricket – Lords.

Since then, there has been no turning back. He has gone through a lot of high’s and low’s. He with Tendulkar formed a formidable opening pair and their record for the aggregate together still stands atop the charts. Sourav Ganguly has played some breath-taking innings when it has mattered the most. He has also come up with some special performances time and again.

Till date, there is no one to better his performance at Toronto. He exploited both with the bat and the ball. He holds the record for winning four consecutive man of the match awards. He also holds the record for being part of most number of 200 runs partnership. Along with this add the most ODI runs in a calender year thrice ( in 1997, 1999 and 2000 ). He was also the fastest to 7,000 ODI runs ( in 174 innings ) and also to 8,000 ( in 200 innings ) and 9,000 ( in 228 innings ).

He also stands third on the list of World’s big hitters with a tally of 190 6’s in ODI’s and 57 in tests. He was also the first left-handed batsman to get past the magical 10,000 mark and third in the world to achieve the feat. He is currently fourth in the list of most centuries by an individual. This is by no means an easy achievement.

Add to this his exploits as a Captain. He lead India in 49 matches and has an amazing record of 15 consecutive victories bettered only by Australia till date. He has been India’s most successful Captain. During this tenure, he also became the second in the World to aggregate 5,000 ODI runs as Captain. He brought in a new feel into the Indian team and took it to great heights. He laid the platform for where we are today, a competitive team anywhere around the world. He changed the phase of Indian Cricket and redefined the term aggression to the Indian Cricketers.

Under him, cropped up a group of gifted youngsters, notable among them is Zaheer Khan, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammed Kaif and Harbhajan Singh. He always backed youngsters and ensured the selectors understood the need of the youngsters for the balance of the team. A lot has been said about his inability against the short ball. But his record in Australia speaks for itself. No one can forget his efforts in the 1999 World Cup where he specially carrassed the Sri Lankans. So was his efforts in the 2003 World Cup scoring two crucial centuries.

He seemed to be an ocean of talent unless the unfortunate incident in 2005 after which everything changed. Even then he proved himself and he has done it to such an extent that he can be called the man of comebacks. His last test summed up his career. A strokeful 85 in a tough situation in the first innings and a golden duck like the great Don in the second innings to bring an end to a glittering career. He has seen everything. After all Dada in Hindi means Don. The Cricketing fraternity will miss the shots that he played through the off side.

He was deservedly called the Bengal tiger for he combined brute force with sheer timing like a majestic tiger. I’ve put together loads of videos and photos here. Don’t mind it as this is what my heart asks me to do. I’m filled with loads of emotions. We will surely miss you Sourav Ganguly.

October 20, 2008

Australians Are No More Invincibles

Posted in Cricket tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 10:55 pm by techtwist

The title may sound harsh. But thats the fact and I stick by it. So many things have been said about the Asian team faltering down under on true wickets. The tides are changing and the Asian teams, specially India, have come a long way and have started giving the Australians a run for their money. When was the last time you say an Aussie Captain speak negatively? It all reflects in their performance.

Australians should consider themselves lucky to have won the toss in Bangalore. They helped themselves to a commanding position on a good batting track. I knew very well that they would falter had they batted second. Credit should be given to Ticky Ponting and Michael Hussey for the way they scored their centuries.

But at Mohali, the script was re-written with Indians getting a chance on the fresh wicket and they readily grounded the Aussies from the word go. Right through the Test, everything seems to be going in India’s favour. Sachin Tendulkar accomplished two records, Saurav Ganguly achieved a personal milestone, Mishra was found to be more than a handful and bagged a five for on debut. They couldn’t have asked for more.

Coming to the fact that Australians aren’t invincibles anymore is very evident from the way they are crubling just like the Indian wickets do. They seem to have developed a phobia over the cracking wickets. Also the Aussies are finding the Indian pacers too hot to handle. Indians seem to be well equipped with the pace men providing the fire power to support the already successful spinners. Australians have a lot of work to do to master spin. Their best player of spin, Matthew Hayden, is also out of touch. A lot will depend on his performance in the next couple of tests.

October 8, 2008

Countdown Begins

Posted in Cricket tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 10:32 pm by techtwist

One of the most amazing clashes of recent times, India versus Australia, is set to begin in under twelve hours from now. The very effort put in by the Aussies as a preparation for the series should sum up the story. When was the last time you heard a Aussie Captain say that his teams were the under dogs? Thats how close a fight that the Indians have putforth when playing Australia.

Talks are already on with Hayden admitting that Harbhajan Singh fires him up and Ponting saying that they will work on India’s weakness in the field and during their Batting while running between the wickets. Indians on the other hand are playing equally hard with Harbhajan Singh predicting a 4-0 victory for India and Virender Sehwag predicting a 3-1 victory for India.

The series has very well gained the necessary momentum and in the middle of all these begins anouther count down. Saurav Ganguly will be playing his last International Series after which he will be retiring from all forms of the games. This came as a bolt from the blue sky and Ganguly was defying the logic of Voluntary Retirement Scheme ( VRS ) bring offered to the players.

Amidst all this was another confusion. Anil Kumble said that this would be his last test in front of his home crowd and a win against the Aussies at home is something he wanted to achieve. Media took it the other way and they concluded saying that this would also be Kumble’s last. Kumble cleared the confusion later today. Ricky Ponting said that this would put pressure on the other ageing Indian batsman and they would try to exploit it.

Saurav Ganguly was very diplomatic when he said that he announced his retirement at the last few minutes of the press conference as team came first and as he never really wanted to make this an issue. The Prince, I feel, has made his own decision. True, that he was done in by some harsh decisions by the Board and the Selectors, but then this seems to be his own decision.

All eyes will surely be on Saurav Ganguly and let us hope that he fires well and leaves the game in prime style just the way he entered with a bang. I personally feel that it would have been fitting had he retired after the England series following this series. But then, everything has happened in a flash. Everything is for good. England series could see either Rohit Sharma or Yuvraj Singh trying to fill in the void.

In the next few posts, I’d be posting a few videos of Saurav Ganguly as a tribute to the ” Prince Of Kolkatta “. He is surely one of my favourite Cricketers and it is his never say die spirit that has seen the team transform as a unit. He has been the backbone of bringing in some good talents namely Zaheer Khan, Yuvraj Singh and Mohammed Kaif to name a few. He is one of the most successful Indian Captains till date and an architect of the modern Indian Team. Kudos to this great fighter!!!

Just One Last Thing, Lads : ( Courtesy : Youtube )

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